Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi of 6267 have accepted a difficult assignment at Gianfranco Ferré. The esteemed Italian designer was no longer at the height of his powers when he passed away last year. So how do you update a brand whose identity gets a little fuzzy beyond the familiar paeans to architectural cuts and white shirts with a flourish? You certainly don't do it by committee, as the house's last two uninspired collections proved.
Speaking before the show, the incoming duo said they had looked at everything in the archives and were aiming to "maintain the essence of Ferré while looking at the future, at what a modern woman wants." They mostly lived up to those words. While there were several "for photographic purposes only" showpieces (including a sheath dress abundantly embroidered in plastic beads, discs, and paillettes), you could imagine many of the looks making the transition from runway to real life. Take the black column gown in marocain with sequined pagoda shoulders that Mariacarla Boscono wore to close the show. It was ruthless in its hourglass construction but seemed to meld to her curves, and absolutely nailed the "rigorous softness" that Aquilano and Rimondi were talking about backstage. Other examples: a scoop-backed black blouse with stiff-yet-weightless short sleeves worn with a ruffle-front camel pencil skirt, and a deceptively simple gray sheath that seemed to sprout white-tipped wings when the model turned.
The collection was based on geometric shapes: the circle, the square, the triangle. It's an idea that's gaining currency this season, but Aquilano and Rimondi did structure without forgoing everything that made the clothes feminine. (There were great jeweled belts and bracelets here, too.) They deserve high marks for this outing.